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India set to become the global knowledge hub

John F. Welch Technology Center in India, the largest outside the US.

"India is rich with bright, young talent. Indian engineers are quick to grasp Six Sigma and make it their way of working," Bayman told IANS during a recent visit, referring to the strict quality standards of GE that is being mirrored at the India center.

GE's state-of-the-art lab in Bangalore does R&D in areas such as engineering, electronic systems, ceramics, metallurgy, catalysis, advanced chemistry, new synthetic materials, polymers, process modeling, simulation and IT.

In a recent study, global consultancy Frost and Sullivan said India had taken a lead over China in the global movement to outsource R&D, while a McKinsey survey said large corporations find India a more attractive hub for R&D than China.

"All this is happening because of the rich and vast talent pool of technical manpower in India," says S.R. Rao, scientific advisor in the Ministry of Science and Technology.

"It is estimated that the headcount of our scientific manpower is arguably among the top five in the world and second-largest in terms of knowing English," says Rao.

To sharpen India's knowledge edge in the 21st century, Mr Manmohan Singh has established a unique body, the Knowledge Commission, under Sam Pitroda, who led India's telecom revolution in the mid-1980s. The commission advises the Prime Minister on how India can meet the knowledge challenges in areas like education, scientific institutions, intellectual property and agriculture.

"This is a unique opportunity to leave behind the British legacy to invent a new India using knowledge," Pitroda says, adding he would focus on how knowledge can be deployed to change the lives of the average citizen.

In fact, state-run research institutions and private sector companies in India have already started grabbing global attention with success in some leading edge areas of science and technology.'"/>




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